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Friday On My Mind 68: RIP Levon Helm. Up on Cripple Creek

Last week saw the death of Levon Helm, one time drummer and singer with The Band, who were much more than Bob Dylan’s one-time backing band.

I’ve already posted the Band’s version of The Weight, their second biggest UK hit. Their biggest, curiously, was Rag Mama Rag.

Levon took lead vocal on this one, though.

The Band: Up on Cripple Creek

Levon Helm: 26/5/1940-19/4/2012. So it goes.

Friday On My Mind 59: How Can We Hang On To A Dream?

Just to show that, even putting Bob Dylan to one side, the 1960s were not a singer/songwriter desert.

Tim Hardin: How Can We Hang On To A Dream?

Hardin wrote a lot of good songs including:

Reason To Believe, better known perhaps for Rod Stewart’s version.

If I Were A Carpenter a hit for The Four Tops

and The Lady Came From Baltimore (loads of people.)

Friday On My Mind 32: Atlantis

Donovan suffered a lot of criticism mostly because, as a singer songwriter in the folk/pop vein, he wasn’t Bob Dylan (whom it was said he was trying to emulate.) But who – apart from Dylan – was?

OK, he was maybe a bit soft centred but Donovan still did some good stuff like Sunshine Superman, Season Of The Witch, Hurdy Gurdy Man.

And in Atlantis he contrived what must be the only use of the word antediluvian in a pop song (except of course he speaks it.)

It wasn’t a big hit in the UK or US – it came at a time when his career was waning – but it did make No. 2 in Germany and No. 1 in Switzerland.

Donovan: Atlantis

Friday On My Mind 24: All Along The Watchtower

I know some people swear by Dylan (hello Alastair) but I was never much into him. I usually thought that interpretations of his songs were better than his originals principally because his singing voice is not to my taste.

This therefore is, to my mind, the definitive version of All Along The Watchtower. (It beats U2’s into a cocked hat, for sure.)

The Jimi Hendrix Experience: All Along The Watchtower

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